7th November 2017

Collections 

“He looked up and saw the rich dropping their offerings into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow dropping in two tiny coins. ‘Truly I tell you,’ He said. ‘This poor widow has put in more than all of them. For all these people have put in gifts out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.’”
Luke 21:1-4 (CSB)
 

One thing that worries people about coming to a church service is the thought of having to give money at a weekly offering. However, our visitors are pleasantly surprised that we do not have a weekly collection. Our Leeds congregation has a voluntary collection at our Easter service, another one at Pentecost, one in the autumn and one at Christmas. A voluntary donation only four times a year takes away one worry that people might have about coming to our service and friendship group each week. So how do we survive financially as a church?

We teach the concept of generosity, but in a balanced way. We are sensitive to the financial pressures that many face in society. Giving is most often done because of our gratitude for the love and freedom that our Saviour has given us by his sacrifice. We love him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

In nearly all our churches in the UK we have bi-vocational pastors, which means they don’t get paid by the church, but have a regular job and earn a living. This helps them to stay close to, and empathise with, our friends in Christ, facing the same problems as them. It also means we have committed and faithful pastors, dedicated to serving God and caring for the congregation—doing it out of love and a desire to serve, not for a salary.

Living in a money-obsessed material world, it may seem strange to work for nothing but the satisfaction of serving. However, many people volunteer to work for charities, giving their time and effort for nothing, as well as having a full time job.

Whenever people care for others, for no financial reward, whether they realise it or not, they are following the example of the ultimate servant, Jesus Christ. He has created us in his image of love and kindness. As a servant, in complete love and empathy, Christ gave his time and effort to caring for others, and often He served people that the culture of that time regarded as unworthy. They were people who could give nothing in return.

In the end, Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice—His life, so that we can have eternal life. For this, and throughout his earthly ministry, He asked for no financial reward. His gift of himself for all humanity is far beyond any amount of money that any person could give. That is why a heart converted to kindness, giving and caring for others is far more valuable than any amount of money. Giving of our heart, our time and our kindness are the ingredients to a more fulfilling life and a joyful relationship with Jesus, our compassionate Saviour. To learn more join us at church for a few weeks, you will be warmly welcomed.

Prayer
Gracious and giving God, do not let money stand between anyone and a relationship with you. Help people to realise that the price of Christianity has already been paid for us by your son, our saviour, Jesus Christ. In Jesus name we pray.
Amen 

Study by Keith Hartrick

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About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association
Community Centre
Pendas Way
LEEDS LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com